This sounds familiar

When I was a teenager, the book on WW2 I enjoyed the most was William L. Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. This was/is amongst the most engrossing narratives of Adolf Hitler and his times and I was so impressed, I read that thick book twice over.

The thing, amidst plenty of other facts, that fascinated me no end was the manner in which Hitler would jump over obstacles and great odds placed in front of him. His unflinching determination and single-minded sense of mission helped. The truth also is he was scared as hell. So he bluffed and badgered his way to initial victories.

Hitler did not just have foreign opponents but influential internal ones too – politicians (initially) and military (all through his reign). He had to convince his internal foes that he, Adolf Hitler,  was the the Man of Germany’s moment. He had to convince them first if he had to go ahead with his plans of conquest.

While reading that book, you realize that what helped Hitler the most was the pusillanimity of his foreign adversaries. – It was this series of early capitulations that convinced Hitler’s internal foes that they were onto a good one with Hitler around.

And now, I can almost feel those Iranian foes of Ahmedinejad telling the likes of Obama…don’t give in…please don’t give in.

I think the ball’s in Israel’s court now –

– Namaste

Bam’s Gifts to A’jad


Last Updated: 3:59 AM, October 3, 2009

Posted: 12:34 AM, October 3, 2009

BY all accounts, Thursday’s talks between Iran and the 5+1 group of major powers represent a diplomatic coup for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he faces continued political unrest at home.

Before the talks, Ahmadinejad’s opponents — among them former Prime Minister Mir-Hussein Mussavi, the man who believes he won last June’s presidential election — claimed that Tehran’s stance on the nuclear issue was driving the country toward “sanctions and war.”

Ahmadinejad had countered the claim by promising to lock the 5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) into “long and well-planned talks” with an agenda proposed by Tehran.

Now that the talks are over, it’s clear that, under pressure from the Obama administration, the 5+1 group fulfilled Ahmadinejad’s promise and confounded Mussavi.

So far, Obama has made several concessions to Iran:

* The negotiations are no longer about Iran’s compliance with the Security Council resolutions it has violated. Obama is careful not to even mention the resolutions in his statements.

* A new agenda, based on a “package” proposed by Iran, is to be developed. Talks on that issue will start by month’s end.

* The 5+1 are no longer demanding that Iran stop uranium enrichment. Instead, they’re promoting a range of ideas that would let Iran continue its program.

* Obama’s delay in challenging Iran on the newly revealed Qom nuclear site also played into Ahmadinejad’s hands.

Britain and France shared intelligence about the plant with the US four months ago. They wanted Obama to disclose the information when he chaired a Security Council session last month — a move that would have dramatized Iran’s defiance of the United Nations. Obama refused, preferring an announcement in Pittsburgh with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Premier Gordon Brown at his side. This let Ahmadinejad claim that he was facing “the Crusader-Zionist” camp rather than the whole of the UN.

* Obama got his allies in Congress to bury a resolution to impose a ban on the sale of gasoline to Iran. (The move, supported by 300 House members and 75 senators, was one of the “crippling sanctions” threatened by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.)

* For the first time in 16 years, Iran’s foreign minister was granted a visa to visit Washington — sending a signal that Obama endorses the second Ahmadinejad administration.

* Obama has rejected Sarkozy and Brown’s suggestion to fix a time frame for the talks to produce results. Ahmadinejad thus needs only to stall: All he wants is another 18 to 24 months, by which time Iran’s nuclear program would become irreversible.

When Obama became president, Iran had 800 centrifuges enriching uranium. Now it has 8,000. By 2010, it may have twice as many — including the “ultraefficient” new ones promised by Ahmadinejad’s new nuclear chief, Ali Salehi.

Ahmadinejad is intelligent enough to have understood one fact: For Obama, the way things look are more important than the way they are. The Iranian will happily feed the American’s illusions. He has already done so by taking a number of steps:

* He has agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the Qom enrichment plant in a few weeks’ time rather than the three months previously promised. This allows Obama to declare a diplomatic victory: “We forced Iran to open its plant in weeks rather than months,” he told Charlie Rose. (Rose was too polite to ask: Why wait weeks, when IAEA inspectors could be there in an hour?)

In the process of winning this “concession,” the US has fudged away the fact that Iran built the plant in defiance of UN resolutions and that its existence was kept a secret from the IAEA.

* Iran will allow retiring IAEA Director Muhammad ElBaradaei to make one last visit to create the illusion that Obama’s “smart engagement strategy” is working.

* The regime-controlled media are donning kid gloves for Obama and blasting Sarkozy and Brown. The official news agency, IRNA, talks of Obama’s “reasonable approach” as opposed to “conspiracies hatched by France and Britain.”

Ahmadinejad can also please Obama by releasing the innocent Americans that the regime has imprisoned. In fact, this was the key subject raised by US envoy William Burns in his one-on-one encounter with Iran’s Saeid Jalili.

Perhaps former President Bill Clinton will get to make another trip to win the release of US hostages. Or perhaps Iran will aim for an even more prestigious visitor: Do not underestimate Obama’s and Ahmadinejad’s shared love of theatricals.


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